In November 2013, I visited Crème Caramel LA in Sherman Oaks with my daughter. The bakery is known for their delicious sweet treats such as bread puddings, crème caramels & my favorite Ube Upside Down Pie!
During my visit to the store, I had the pleasure of meeting the owner & baker, Kristine de la Cruz. She is Filipina (just like me) & when Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines last year, she donated her baked goods to a charity bake sale. Kristine does not have children, but her bakery business is her baby – so in my mind, she qualifies for a Real Mom of the SFV spotlight. 🙂
Please meet Valley business owner, Kristine de la Cruz!
How/why did you begin your business?
Kristine: I’ve always wanted to own my own food based business. Bakery, restaurant, bar, market, if it dealt with food and people enjoying said food, I wanted to do it. After talking about it for so long, I realized instead of talking about it, I could have made moves to start the business. I decided that I would dedicate one hour a day for a whole year to developing the business. One hour a day went into either working on the business plan, testing recipes, or conducting research. 8 months later, we were ready to go to market with Crème Caramel LA.
What is one tip or piece of advice that you would give to other female entrepreneurs?
Kristine: Recognize your strengths and weaknesses. I know my strengths are in R&D, hospitality, promotion and marketing, but I’m terrible at bookkeeping. My boyfriend/partner, Sean, is fantastic at keeping the operational aspects of our business going. You cannot do it alone. There are fantastic free business resources through the Small Business Organization. Get the information and help you need!
What do you like best about having a business in the San Fernando Valley?
Kristine: We’re lucky to have landed in an amazing neighborhood of Sherman Oaks! Everyone has been fantastic and really supportive. We love our neighbors.
If there was one thing you wish you knew before you began your business, what would that be?
Kristine: Read the fine print. There were times when I made decisions because I was pressed for time. Unfortunately, they were expensive lessons. I’ve learned that if I can’t go over the fine details myself, ask someone to review it or pass on the decision.
These are great business tips, don’t you think?! I feel it’s important to recognize that you cannot do things on your own. Like Kristine had mentioned, know what your strengths & weaknesses are AND don’t be afraid to ask others for business advice.
Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. All images are mine unless otherwise noted. The image shown in this post is used with permission. As always, my opinions are 100% my own.